ROCHERS DE NAYE HIKE FROM MONTREUX, SWITZERLAND
Rochers de Naye hike takes you to a summit near above Montreux that has arguably the best view of Lake Geneva. Depending on the weather you may also be above the clouds, which is always an incredible experience. It is possible to hike up or take the train to the summit or if you are feeling adventurous there is even a Via Ferrata option.
In this blog post, I will share with you my experiences on the train from Montreux, your options in traveling to and from the summit. I’ll also detail what to expect at the summit where there are a restaurant and hotel.
Hike Distance: 13km one-way. Probably best to choose either to hike up or down otherwise prepare for 7+ hours of hiking.
Hike Duration: This depends on whether you hike up, down or both. It can range from 3-10 hours depending on what you choose. To hike down from Rochers de Naye should take no more than 3 hours.
Hike Difficulty: Steep but safe and not technical. Some walking through the forest on a dirt trail.
Hike Incline: Starting point at Montreux: 396m – Rochers de Naye: 2,042m
HOW TO GET TO ROCHERS DE NAYE
There are several options by which you can reach Rochers de Naye summit. I will outline them below and share with you how I reached the summit.
- How I reached the summit (Catch the train from Montreux Station to Rochers de Naye. The price of the ticket was 17.50 CHF, which is about $16 USD. The train car is quite steep and takes about 45 minutes to transport you from the Montreux station to the summit. It drops you right at the door of the restaurant and hotel and there is no walking involved. You literally enjoy the views at the summit without needing to walk more than fifty yards. Here you can use your Swiss Half-Fare Card so you only need to pay half of the ticket price. We caught the last train, which was at 5:17 pm but you should check the current timetable here.
- The other option is to hike to the summit. This would be quite a steep hike with an ascent of more than 1600m throughout the trail. The estimate is that it would take about four hours. We took the trail down and it took us about 2 hours and 45 minutes to get down. I suggest taking the train up and then hiking down
MY EXPERIENCE AT ROCHERS DE NAYE
It was a bit of a cloudy day but we decided that we would give Rochers de Naye a shot. There was lots of fog clouding out the peaks of all the mountains near Lake Geneva but we’d traveled for an hour to arrive in Montreux so there was no going back now. We grabbed our tickets at Montreux Station after paying $3 for our parking spot nearby the station. The train leaves once every hour to Rochers de Naye so you might want to time your run by checking this schedule.
Once aboard the train, we began chugging up the hill, passing through a few tunnels and grabbing a small slice of view through the forest every few minutes. As we climbed past 1300m the clouds starting to thicken and we thought we were done for, destined to be stuck inside a cloud with no views at the summit.
The cogwheel railway takes you through forests through the mountains on its way up to Rochers-de-Naye at 2042 m.
For the next few hundred meters of the ascent all, we could see was a wall of white. We were a bit disappointed until we came into the station at Rochers de Naye and we were, in fact, above the clouds. Not only where we above the clouds, but they were parting over Lake Geneva. We had lucked out big time and enjoyed the fast-pace of the clouds as they constantly swept through in waves across the viewpoint.
Once you reach the hotel and restaurant at the summit of Rochers de Naye, there are lots of things to do. You can explore down either side of the ridge, visit the local Marmots, have a coffee or meal in the restaurant or head up to the absolute top of the summit for the best views of Lake Geneva.
We decided to head up to the top viewpoint and watch the clouds dance over Lake Geneva. The sun rays at this time were amazing and creating all kinds of colors and reflections off the lake. It would be great to be up here at sunset although it is a long walk down in the dark. It’s best to head down before sunset.
From the top on a clear day you can see Eiger, the Mont Blanc massif and Geneva’s famous Jet d’eau fountain.
With the fog increasing and reducing our visibility, we now decided to head back down as it was 7:30 pm. Although there are many signs directing us back to Montreux, we managed to find ourselves in an undesirable route, which was actually meant for the Via Ferrata access. The hike down is 13km and should take no more than 3-4 hours.
We ended up heading down a number of steep stairways and I honestly have no idea, which way we went although we managed to somehow navigate ourselves back home through the fog and a huge storm that soaked us. Along the way we followed the red and white arrows, bumped into a mountain goat and came across some glacial ice…. all while following the train tracks home. I don’t recommend our route home but it was definitely eventful.
THE TRAIN FROM MONTREUX TO ROCHERS DE NAYE
The train departs from Montreux Station and the price of the ticket was 17.50 CHF, which is about $16 USD. The train is quite steep and takes about 45 minutes to transport you from the Montreux station to the summit. It drops you right at the door of the restaurant and hotel and there is no walking involved. You literally enjoy the views at the summit without needing to walk more than fifty yards. Here you can use your Swiss Half-Fare Card so you only need to pay half of the ticket price. We caught the last train, which was at 5:17 pm but you should check the current timetable here.
BEST WAYS TO GET AROUND WITH TRANSPORT IN SWITZERLAND
In Switzerland, the most popular form of transport is the train (and sometimes bus). It always arrives on time, is comfortable, efficient and covers almost all parts of the country. It’s damn good and one of the best public transport systems in the world. But it’s not cheap. A one-way ticket for a 1.5-hour journey can quickly rise to 70 USD. The best option is to buy a 3-day, 8-day or 15-day pass with the Swiss Travel System Pass, which gives you unlimited train rides during that period. It will pay itself off very quickly and makes the train (and bus) travel very convenient without requiring you to buy a ticket each time. I used this myself and used the trains and buses for almost my whole time in Switzerland. To head to the page where you can book your Swiss Travel Pass online you can click HERE and select how many days you would like to purchase the pass for.
The other option (Which I also purchased) was the Swiss Half-Fare Card, which gives you half-price tickets on all transport including buses and trains. This ticket lasts for a month and is much cheaper than the full pass obviously but will pay itself off in a matter of a few days as we quickly found out! To visit the page where you can book your Swiss Half-Fare Card you can click HERE and select the date you want it to start.
The other option is renting a car. After our first few expensive train tickets, we started to think this might be the better option and to our surprise, the train can often be far more expensive than renting a car in Switzerland. For example one day we went from Zurich to hike Mount Pilatus and back to Zurich and our total train tickets for four people was $300 USD. The car rental per day was $90 USD. If you are in a group of two (definitely three) or more, I highly suggest renting a car if you are covering a lot of ground as it will give you scheduling freedom and likely be cheaper as we found.